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I have been bitten by a dog, should I call a lawyer?

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

As the summer weather is now upon us, you can expect people to be out and about walking their dogs in parks and public locations, sometimes off their leash. The most common claims made are related to dog bites, but in some situations, you can also be injured by a dog as a result of being jumped up on or knocked over. The lawyers at TS law can explain what you should expect when it comes to the legal process resulting from a dog related injury.

What do I do after a dog related injury?

If you have been bitten or injured by a dog, you need to identify the owner as soon as possible, after seeking medical attention if necessary. In most cases the owner will be near by and easy to identify, but sometimes a dog related injury can happen as a result of a run away dog. If you can identify the owner, make sure to obtain their name, address, phone number and email contact information. As a health and safety precaution, you may also want to confirm that the dog is up to date with its vaccinations, although this is not relevant to a lawsuit.

A lawsuit involving a dog related injury has two parts - Liability and Damages

Liability:

This can also be described as “fault.” In a dog related injury, it needs to be determined who is at fault for the dog bite or dog related injury. For example, was the injured person was doing something to provoke the dog to result in an injury? Or could the owner have prevented the injury involving their dog?

Damages:

Typically, compensation for damages in dog related injury cases depends on the severity of your injuries, such as scarring from a bite, or where the scarring is located. For example, facial scarring that has significantly altered your appearance may attract a higher award for damages. In addition, your general pain and suffering damages can also be associated by psychological issues, including fear of attending public places that may have dogs in attendance, nightmares following the attack, and even cases of PTSD.

Treatment costs are related to general damages, such as the out of pocket expenses that are incurred for disinfectant or bandages. However, in the extreme cases where psychological counselling or laser therapy to reduce scarring is required, the costs related can be expensive and those damages may also be recovered. If you have to miss work as a result of a dog related injury, you may recover lost earnings as well.

Compensation:

Often, home insurance will be the source of any compensation you will receive from a dog related injury. If the dog owner does not have home insurance or any other financial means to cover a claim, you may have to evaluate the probability of being awarded any compensation directly from the dog owner.

It is best to contact one of the lawyers at TS Law to help you evaluate what the best options are in your particular situation. We have the knowledge to guide you through the process and come to a determination on whether a lawsuit would be worth pursuing.

If you have been seriously injured by a dog bite, we strongly recommend that you contact our highly experienced personal injury lawyers immediately to ensure your future is protected. At TS Law, there are no legal fees unless you win, and our experienced team of litigators will come to you, if necessary, for a free no obligation consultation, regardless if your injuries have you in the hospital or at home.

Call us today and get your life back on track! Call 905-777-0070 and speak to one of our qualified legal support team members to book your free initial consultation.                  

TS LAW = TRUSTED SUCCESS

Do your Injuries/Impairment meet “the threshold”? How can you be sure?

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

What is “the threshold”? The threshold is a medical/legal test that the court uses to determine whether or not victims of a motor vehicle collision should be allowed to recover compensation for pain and suffering as a result of their impairments arising from a motor vehicle collision.

There are three main ways that the threshold test looks at injuries/impairments suffered by a victim of a motor vehicle collision:

  1. The review of medical evidence, treatment and what witnesses have to say about your medical condition must satisfy a judge that your injuries/impairment is permanent;
  2. A judge will consider the effect of your injuries/impairment on your life, including your hobbies, work and family. The judge must be satisfied with the level of seriousness your injuries/impairment have on your day to day activities, such as work, family, social and recreational pursuits; and
  3. Your injuries/impairment must be to an important physical, mental, and/or psychological function.
  4. Any award for pain and suffering will be reduced by a statutory deductible which is currently approximately $39,000.00. This means that if the court were to award you the sum of $70,000.00 for your pain and suffering, the court will reduce the award by the statutory deductible. ($70,000.00 – $31,000.00) Therefore, you would receive the sum of $31,000.00 for your award of pain and suffering.
  5. One of the purposes of the statutory deductible is the limit the right of accident victims to seek compensation for their injuries.

It is important to note, that even in cases decided by a jury, where you are awarded money for pain and suffering, a judge may override the jury’s decision if they determine that you fail to meet the criteria of the threshold test.

Caselaw examples of the threshold test in action:

• In Mamado v. Fridson, 2016 ONSC 4080, the Plaintiff was found to be credible. After her accident, she was unable to return to work or her studies. The Plaintiff’s impairments were related to chronic pain. The judge considered the Plaintiff to have met the threshold and she was eligible compensation for her pain and suffering.
• In Perez v. Pinto, 2013 ONSC 1243, the Plaintiff was considered not credible or trustworthy and was proven to be “exaggerating her symptoms.” When the jury awarded $2,500 in general damages, the judge determined that this Plaintiff did not meet the threshold test and overturned the awarded compensation.
• In Antinozzi v. Andrews, 2011 ONSC 3296, another Plaintiff that was found to be credible, was forced to change her living arrangements because of difficulty with walking up and down stairs. Prior to the accident she had a solid employment record, and had not returned to work since. The Plaintiff was eligible for recovery because the judge was satisfied that the threshold test was met for her injuries and/or impairments.
People who have been injured in a motor vehicle collision often experience numerous barriers in obtaining fair compensation, this threshold test is only one of them. Call us today and get your life back on track! Call 905-777-0070 and speak to one of our qualified legal support team members to book your free initial consultation. TS LAW = TRUSTED SUCCESS